Last night Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) was awarded to five prominent surgeons from Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, England, and Belgium during Convocation ceremonies that preceded the official opening of the 2012 ACS Annual Clinical Congress. The granting of Honorary Fellowship is one of the highlights of the Clinical Congress, which is one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world. The recipients were as follows:
-Prof. Seiki Matsuno
Professor Matsuno, Sendai, Japan, is vice dean of the medical faculty at Tohoku University and director Tohoku Koseinenkin Hospital. After spending a postgraduate year studying pancreatic diseases at the University of California-Davis (UCD), he returned to Japan and introduced the "Frey procedure" for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis, named for Charles Frey, MD, a professor of surgery at UCD. With a focus on pancreatic physiology, pathophysiology, and diseases and their treatment, Professor Matsuno has authored and coauthored more than 360 original articles in English and many more in Japanese. His pancreas-focused research has included studies of basic and translational science, pancreatic function, and pancreatic microcirculation. He has also studied molecular biology immuno-therapy and gene therapy of cancer and ischemia-reperfusion injury of the liver. In examining clinical aspects of acute pancreatitis, he has studied groundbreaking treatment with regional arterial infusion of antibiotics and protease inhibitors to stop pancreatic necrosis and infection. He was also a central influence in the development of national registries and Japanese and international consensus and evidence-based guidelines for management of necrotizing pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and cystic tumors of the pancreas. His work in the creation of standards resulted in development of the 2004 Sendai Guidelines, which have since been validated and are used worldwide. Professor Matsuno has been a tireless educator, training more than 200 surgical fellows and creating a school of pancreatic surgery that has been carried on by many of his trainees and successors.
-Prof. Enrique T. Ona
Professor Ona, Manila, Philippines, is a transplant surgeon and the current Secretary of Health for the Republic of the Philippines. With a career-long focus on transplantation surgery and the impact of organ failure on public health, Professor Ona is a widely recognized master surgeon, committed teacher, and pioneering researcher. A professor of surgery for more than 30 years at the University of the Philippines, Professor Ona has chaired several of the university's department of surgery sections and founded the university's division of organ transplantation in 1986. The founding transplant surgeon of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Quezon City, he served as the institute's executive director for 11 years before his appointment as Secretary of Health. Since 1989, Professor Ona has served as president of the Transplantation Society of the Philippines. He has received numerous awards for his work in research and transplantation including the Outstanding Health Research Award of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, the Presidential Award of Recognition for Organ Transplantation, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Philippine Medical Association.
-Prof. Hector Orozco
Professor Orozco, Mexico City, Mexico, is a retired general surgeon who has devoted his retirement years to caring for the medically underserved as a volunteer surgeon in his community. A native of Mexico, Professor Orozco trained in the United States with a focus on hepatobiliary surgery and portal hypertension. After his training, he returned to Mexico where he spent 40 years at the Instituto de la Nutrición, Mexico City, reaching the positions of professor and chairman of the department of surgery, which he held for almost 20 years. In order to ensure that surgery residents trained at the Instituto were prepared to care for the needs of Mexico's residents, he worked with the University of Alabama at Birmingham to create a mandatory rotation through that university for every senior resident in the Instituto's program. Over the course of his career, Dr. Orozco proved to be a prolific writer, with more than 70 book chapters and more than 150 articles published in peer-reviewed publications. Because of his work with professional medical organizations in Mexico, Dr. Orozco has served in several leadership roles in Mexico's surgical community. He has served as president of the Mexican Association of Gastroenterology and the Mexican Association of Hepatology and he has received honorary fellowship in the Mexican Association of General Surgery. In the U.S., the American Surgical Association granted him an honorary membership.
-Prof. Lewis Spitz
Professor Spitz, London, England, is the Emeritus Nuffield Professor of Paediatric Surgery and chairman of the department of surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital and is one of his country's foremost and accomplished pediatric surgeons. When his tenure at Great Ormond Street Hospital started in 1979, Professor Spitz took on the job of revamping the pediatric surgery department and built it to become one of the foremost and respected pediatric surgery departments in the world. He also introduced the hospital to the importance of anti-reflux surgery and gastrostomy placement for feeding problems in severely disabled children that dramatically improved their quality of life and is now routinely performed worldwide. Outside of Great Ormond Street Hospital, Professor Spitz has trained several generations of pediatric surgeons in the United Kingdom and made major contributions to the education and training of pediatric surgeons around the world. He is recognized as the leading expert in the management of congenital abnormalities of the esophagus, esophageal replacement techniques, and pancreatic and liver tumors. Professor Spitz encouraged a policy of evidence-based surgery that led to numerous research studies on necrotizing enterocolitis, Hirschsprung's disease, and the psychological impact of neonatal surgery on infants. He is also considered an authority on the management of conjoined twins, having worked on the separations of 24 sets of conjoined twins over the course of his career.
-Prof. Ignace B. Vergote
Professor Vergote, Leuven, Belgium, currently serves as chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and director of the Cancer Institute at University Hospitals. Professor Vergote is well known for being Belgium's first trained gynecologic oncologist to head the division of gynecologic oncology at the University Hospital Leuven. His career as an academic surgeon has been characterized by extensive clinical and translational investigation with a special focus on endometrial and ovarian cancers. Professor Vergote has embraced new technology and techniques to utilize their clinical effectiveness. His pioneering use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by interval cytoreductive surgery for treatment of advanced ovarian cancer was exemplary. While his approach was heavily criticized, he still managed to enlist participation in a randomized surgical trial that proved the effectiveness of his work. With his steadfast interest in studying the pathogenesis of gynecologic cancer, Professor Vergote's curiosity has evolved from early studies of DNA ploidy status to contemporary clinical applications of molecular profiling. He realized, however, that accrual proficiency and standardization in conducting clinical trials called for mutual collaboration across borders and founded the European Network of Gynaecological Oncological Trials Group. The network now includes 17 nations. Furthermore, Professor Vergote has played a major role in the launch and growth of gynecologic oncology as a specialty in Belgium and throughout Europe. He created an advanced surgical training fellowship for gynecologic and breast cancers in his university's surgery department and enabled development of a system for certifying gynecologic oncology training centers throughout Europe.